Know your rights: Dubai renter's guide

If you’re a renter in Dubai, you know it’s not easy dealing with a landlord. We’ve rounded up some of the things your landlord may not tell you but what you should keep in mind before putting down your deposit or accepting an eviction notice.

Is your agent a certified estate agent?
Whilst looking for a property, ensure that the agency you’re dealing with is licensed. Ask the agent to provide a copy of his/her RERA card.

What documents should you ask for?
Always ask for a copy of the title deed or proof of ownership. Check the terms and conditions, dates, notice periods and that the property is registered at EJARI with the lease break clause, maintenance responsibility, parking details, insurance and liability clearly spelt out. Also check which utilities are included in the rental price – for example chiller charges – as there are areas where fees are charged separately.

The role of RERA and the land department
What every renter needs to know
Investing in UAE property – mistakes to avoid
Rental red flags
Viewing rental properties – the checklist
Dubai real estate terms explained
How to negotiate your rent
How to buy a property in the UAE

How many cheques should I expect to give the landlord to cover the annual rent? What are the other charges I need to look out for?
This is down to the landlord. However, three to four cheques seems to be the current norm. The agent commission is five percent of the annual rent and the deposit no more than five percent.

If your landlord wishes to increase the rent, he must notify you at least 90 days in advance.
If your landlord wishes to increase the rent, he must notify you at least 90 days in advance.

What else should the landlord take care of before I move in?
It is your landlord’s responsibility to make sure that the property is in good condition at the time of handover.

What is the duration of a tenancy contract?
Most tenancy contracts are for a period of one year and renewable at the time of expiry as long as both parties – tenant and landlord – agree.

By how much can my landlord increase the rent?
Firstly, the landlord cannot raise the rent arbitrarily; he has to abide by the rules and regulations of RERA. As per the latest rental decree which was announced in December  last year, whether or not a landlord can increase the rent is no longer governed by a two-year period but by the RERA rent calculator, which can be found on the website.

Can my landlord raise the rent without a notice?
No. If your landlord wishes to increase the rent, he must notify you at least 90 days in advance.

Can my landlord evict me without a 12 months’ notice?
No. If your landlord wishes to evict you, he should notify you at least 12 months in advance with a notice that is notarised and sent by registered mail.

What if my landlord wants to sell or move into the property?
In both cases, he must give you a written notice at least 12 months in advance. If you want to ensure that the property has indeed been sold, visit the Dubai Land Department with your tenancy agreement and passport copy and request the details.

In the case of repossession by the landlord or his immediate next of kin, the owner has to prove that he does not own an alternative suitable property to move into.

Should I pay the full 5 percent fee whilst renewing a tenancy contract?
No. AED 1,000 is the acceptable fee, so make sure you don’t pay more.

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